Children aren't taught this anymore, but I grew up to the mantra, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." And it was a factual comment. As I grew up, I learned to listen to words for understanding, learning and as an indicator of the the nature of the person speaking the words. For anyone who wants to learn, words and the manner of speaking reveals a lot. Words contain promise as well as threat. Words provide nuance that is available for the listener who wants to hear it.
Actions, however, provide no choice. They simply "are" and the results cannot be changed. Actions can hurt as well as provide pleasure. Of the two, actions are the most immediately dangerous. Words, if used to deceive or misdirect, are just as dangerous...sometimes more so...as actions because they, unlike actions, can seem to promise even as they deceive.
A person who lies lacks both honor and character and is to be avoided. Above all, such a person should never be allowed to have power or authority over you. But such a person, provided that they are aware of their lying, is not the most dangerous.
The most dangerous of people is that individual who not only lies successfully to others, but who also lies so successfully to themselves that they no longer are aware of their own dishonesty. Why is such a person so dangerous? Because they actually exude a sense of belief in their lies that can be very effective in convincing or conning the listener...they come across as believing what they say and there is little defense against such a presentation other than research and verification.
Today children and young adults, particularly those who attend College or University, seem to be indoctrinated with the concept that they should never be challenged by words or ideas which they have been taught or either wrong or hurtful. They have absolutely no emotional callouses; they are ill prepared to evaluate or research ideas, much less challenge them.
But even more concerning is that these young people seem now to consider the "nicety" of words and ideas to be more important that honesty and actions; they are less insulted by those who lie to them and fail to fulfill promises (provided that the lies are phrased nicely and in a complimentary way) than those who speak bluntly and are not "politically correct" (which is clearly an oxymoron). For those who know the "Music Man" play and movie, they would honor the smooth talking liar for his ability to talk and accept the lack of honesty...and then consider themselves superior for so doing.
How can we, as a nation, accept such perverting of our values? How can we allow our children to grow to an age when they must become self-reliant while we allow a government that we elect to spend our children and grandchildren into financial ruin? By what reasoning do we allow our children to be indoctrinated to value "group think" and "avoidance of (or even absence of) consequences" while we fail to teach them that any person or government that is strong or big enough to give them anything is also big and strong enough to take everything away?
One of my own grandchildren has become a victim of this American failure. I am embarrassed that I was not aware and did nothing to attempt to provide some counter instruction. I am embarrassed for all of us who assumed a dedication by our educational and political systems on the part of those who educated and who have and continue to rule us. Our cost of our negligence will be visited upon our descendants and, if justice is served, we will be reviled by those who come after as narcissistic cowards who failed our offspring. I would apologize, but those would just be words...I have already allowed others to throw the sticks and stones.